Andrew Neil says he’d ‘like to get back to Britain’
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Andrew Neil, 72, has been a prominent figure spearheading the launch of GB News as he serves as the chairman of the new network. The former BBC political broadcaster will also host his own primetime programme on the channel, bringing some of the biggest debates of the moment to light. However, it seems some extra work is going to be taken to ensure he does make an appearance on-screen as bosses are reportedly thinking of ways in which he can carry out his duties overseas.
For the majority of the pandemic, Andrew has been living in the South of France, with viewers seeing him on video call during appearances on ITV’s This Morning.
It was hoped the broadcaster would be back in the UK for the show’s launch on June 13, 2021, but recent reports are suggesting otherwise.
Due to ongoing travel restrictions imposed by the Government, France remains on the list of countries members of the public are being warned not to visit.
As a result of this development, it is thought Andrew will be hosting his programmes and appearing during the launch show from somewhere in the French Rivera.
Media publication Popb***h states there could be some backlash from this move by the channel, due to its strong message of being a network providing news to those living in Great Britain.
Express.co.uk has contacted a representative of Andrew’s for comment on the latest reports.
It was reported earlier this week the launch date would be June 13, 2021, with a special show entitled Welcome To GB News kicking off the new venture.
Multiple platforms will begin broadcasting the channel, including Freeview and Youview on channel 236, with Sky and Virgin media putting it on channels 515 and 626 respectively.
With a multitude of shows planned, from politics to entertainment and everything in between, the network is hoping to air 6500 hours of television each year.
Andrew left the BBC after 25 years of service to launch the rival network which is hoping to draw in the viewers.
“We’ve seen a huge gap in the market
Speaking of his decision to leave the BBC, Andrew said: “We’ve seen a huge gap in the market for a new form of television news.
“GB News is the most exciting thing to happen in British television news for more than 20 years. We will champion robust, balanced debate.
“And a range of perspectives on the issues that affect everyone in the UK, not just those living in the London area,” he continued.
In a post on Twitter and in view of his 1.1 million followers, the political broadcaster added: “With a heavy heart, I announce I will be leaving the BBC.”
“Despite sterling efforts by new Director-General to come up with other programming opportunities, it could not quite repair the damage done when Andrew Neil Show cancelled early summer and Politics Live taken off the air,” he continued.
“But I leave with no animosity or desire to settle scores. I look back on my 25 years doing live political programmes for the BBC with affection.”
It seems bosses behind GB News were keen to get Andrew involved as they have also spoken out on signing him up to the news network.
A spokesperson said: “Andrew Neil epitomises what GB News is all about. He’s an exceptional journalist, brilliant interviewer and fearlessly independent.”
Taking to Twitter, potential viewers of the channel have been sharing their views on the new network, with one writing: “I don’t think GB news is off to a very good start. I won’t be watching @GBNEWS.”
Another posted on the social media platform: “Caught a few minutes of GB news channel this morning. I felt so emotional listening to the presenters. I could have cried. I feel like I’ve been invisible and suddenly I’m not any more #andrewneil #alistairstewart #neiloliver.”
Whilst a third commented: “It will be interesting to see how BBC, ITN, Sky News etc react to GB News. Will they become less biased or will they double down on their leftist agenda.”
“Can’t wait for #GBNews to start. I’m so fed up with BBC left-wing and anti-gov bias and I’m really a socialist at heart but a party less voter!” a fourth remarked.
GB News will launch on Sunday, June 13.
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